Diana 1961-1997: Paris - Funeral of driver held up for new blood test

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The Independent Online
French investigators have conducted another blood test on the body of the man who drove the car in which Princess Diana died, it was revealed yesterday. A new sample was taken from the body of Henri Paul on Friday afternoon, at the request of his family. The result was not immediately announced.

An eminent British pathologist, retained by the Fayed family, claimed on Friday that the initial tests - showing that he was more than three times over the legal alcohol limit - were "unreliable".

French authorities yesterday angrily dismissed the criticism from Professor Peter Vanezis as "inept and ridiculous". They said the first analysis had been carried out, following standard French procedures, at the Institut Medico-legal in Paris. A second test was carried out in a private laboratory. The first showed Mr Paul had 175mg of alcohol for every 100ml of blood, more than three times the French legal limit. The second showed an even higher level - 187mg per 100ml.

Paul's family had the right to request another test because they have filed a civil suit in association with the criminal investigation. The driver's funeral, due to take place near Lorient, Brittany, yesterday, was delayed. Some mourners and a florist bearing bouquets arrived for the service, unaware of the postponement.

Late on Friday the judge in charge of the inquiry, Herve Stephan, formally placed under examination the three photographers who fled from the scene of the crash but gave themselves up on Thursday. They, along with seven other photographers detained at the scene by police, face possible charges of manslaughter, recklessly causing injury and failing to assist people in danger.

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